Pakistan property developers court UAE expats with $1.7bn projects

A property show this week will target 1.21 million non-residential Pakistanis in the UAE

Pakistani developers will exhibit at a property show in Abu Dhabi later this week [representational image].
Pakistani developers will exhibit at a property show in Abu Dhabi later this week [representational image].

Property development companies are offering multibillion-dollar real estate schemes to Pakistani expatriates in the UAE and other Gulf countries through Pakistan Property Exhibition amid “improved” political conditions, stronger regulations, and the higher value of the Pakistani Rupee against the Dirham (PKR to AED). The push towards non-resident Pakistanis (NRPs) comes as newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan seeks to boost the country’s economy.

Around 1.21 million NRPs live in the UAE, and Pakistani developers are hoping to lure this segment to invest in affordable developments worth $1.7bn (AED6bn) in the Asian country. Organisers of the show, set to be held on 1-3 November at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, said investor-friendly regulations would benefit NRPs looking to spend in the real estate sector back home.

READ: PM Imran Khan seeks Saudi investors for Pakistan oil refineries

Developers exhibiting at the property show will also be able to sell properties and conduct transactions following appropriate permits received by Dome Exhibitions, which is organising the event. The show’s 2017 edition saw 2,680 Pakistanis in the audience.

Commenting on the show, Muhammad Iqbal Dawood, president of Pakistan Business Council Dubai, said: “With Pakistanis being the second-largest expat community in the UAE (12.5%), there is a massive buyer segment for the properties available in different cities of Pakistan.”

The property show comes at a time when Pakistan’s PM Khan is targeting investors in the Middle East for infrastructure developments in the country that is faced with an economic crisis. In an interview with the Independent earlier this month, Khan said that Pakistan was in urgent need of loans from friendly countries of International Monetary Fund (IMF). Khan was also said to have praised the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) deal for its potential impact on Pakistan’s economy.

He continued: “Unless we get loans from friendly countries of IMF, we actually won’t have foreign exchange to either service our debts or to pay for our imports, so unless we get loans, or investment from abroad, we’ll have real, real problems.

READ: Pakistan spots 10,000 UK, Dubai properties in corruption probe

“[CPEC] has given Pakistan an opportunity to really take off because of the connectivity and the investment that came in – the only investment and very cheap loans that came into Pakistan when no one else was giving us money.”

Speaking at the Public Investment Fund-backed Future Investment Initiative (FII) 2018 conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Khan said that Saudi Arabia’s investments would play a major role towards the growth of Pakistani infrastructure. His comments at the conference in October came after it was revealed that Saudi Arabia could invest in a $9bn oil refinery near the China-owned port of Gwadar. A Saudi delegation visiting Pakistan at the time was also said to have been offered participation in “the $2-3bn North-South Gas pipeline” and to bid on 10 petroleum exploration blocks that are “to be offered for auction soon”.

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